Monday, May 31, 2010

A Good Mother

Posted by Anonymous.

I thought I was a good mother, I recently found out that the very thing I did to protect my child put her in harms way.

Princess Petunia is the much wanted, long awaited, only child of parents who endured several pregnancy losses, were told they would never have a biological child, went through IVF, and against all odds, were blessed with this tiny, perfect proof that miracles happen on an ordinary day.

When we finally learned we were to be parents we were thrilled, our families were thrilled. We spent our days protecting her. I worked nights and her Dad worked days so we didn't have to put her in daycare until she went to school, then only before and after school. She was safe, she was loved, she was the sun we revolved around.

In the past three years this beautiful, sweet princess became bitter, moody, even mean at times. I chalked it up to teenage angst, only child syndrome, her parents were divorced, after all, she wasn't really a bad kid, just moody. About three months ago she asked to go to a counselor. I got her the first available appointment, what my baby needs, my baby gets.

Yesterday she confided to me something that she had already told her counselor and her dad: when she was six the driver for the daycare bus molested her.

My mind flashed back to the time she came home from daycare with a toy we hadn't bought for her, when I asked her where she had gotten it, she told me the bus driver gave it to her because she was such a good girl on the bus, never cried or screamed.

I marched right into the daycare director's office and demanded to know what was going on, making it clear this was not acceptable. The daycare informed me that "he" was a great guy, a dad himself, coached all the kids sports teams, everyone just loved him, besides, if would make me feel better he was going to be coaching full time and would not be driving the bus anymore, and "you know, Mrs. X, Petunia is a wonderful, well behaved child, I'm sure he was just rewarding her."

I left feeling like I had taken care of this, and besides, the Princess really is a great kid. Little did I know, the damage had already been done. You see, about a month or so earlier the day care had sent a letter home to all the parents explaining that due to the shortage of buses and drivers, sometimes it would be necessary for them to drop the children off up to an hour before school started, with no adult supervision. It was basically a permission slip asking me if they could not do what I was paying them to do. I told the director that they could not drop my six year old off at school to be unsupervised for an hour, if I did that it would be child neglect, I wasn't going to let them do it either. Princess Petunia was to stay on the bus until she could be supervised.

The conversation with my baby, who is now almost 17, started yesterday with: "Mommy, remember when I had to stay on the bus...?"

Now I feel like not only did I fail to protect her but I basically handed her to the pedophile that hurt her. I don't know what to think, what to feel. I think I'm still in denial. How did someone hurt my baby and I was completely unaware? How do I sleep at night knowing that I gave this... I can't call him a man... access to my daughter so her he could hurt her?

And how do I ever begin to make the world a safe place for her again. The saddest part is that she tried to protect me. She told her counselor and her father but she didn't want to tell me because, in her words " Mommy, I knew you would think it was your fault, and there was nothing you could do to stop it."

I used to think I was a good mother, now I think I have no clue what a good mother does to protect her babies.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hook, Line, And Sinker

Posted by Anonymous.

Preamble: I met someone, fell hard for him, and then found out he had lied about being married. They hadn't been divorced for 5 years - they had actually just celebrated their 10-year anniversary.

Here is the email I sent him after I found out...

Subject: WOW

Dear Russell:

Wow – that’s still the word to use. However, it certainly is meant in a totally different context than it did last week.

Congratulations – you fooled me. I fell for it all – hook, line, and sinker. You are good at what you do. Or maybe I am just the perfect victim. It seems like you have had plenty of practice. You know exactly what to say, exactly what to do. You certainly know how to pick them, I’ll give you that.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that my son was involved. Maybe in the future, you should leave the kids out of the picture.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with you being married. It’s the fact that you lied about it. You lied about a lot. I’ll never know which things you said were true and which weren’t. It doesn’t even matter. I’ll never know where you were coming from or what you were thinking. Or if you were even thinking.

I don’t have an issue with casual encounters, as long as both parties are aware of the situation. Honesty will get you a lot further in life. Unless of course this is exactly what you were after. The game, the lie, the idea to completely fool them, the conquest. Did you go home and laugh? Does it make you feel more like a man to dupe someone? Do you even care about how your actions affect other people? Maybe this is exactly what you are after. If so, time to move on to the next conquest.

I will take some positive things from this experience. Not quite sure what all that will be yet. But one thing’s for sure, I know now to trust my gut over my heart. I still believe in myself and what I have to offer.

Looking back, there were a lot of red flags.

Congrats to you and your (3rd?) wife on 10 wonderful years of marriage. I’m sure your whole family is proud of you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Haunting

Posted by Anonymous.

The past week really has been a hell of sorts.

It hasn't been terrible, but once again I feel - I have no better word - haunted.

It's not anything supernatural or spiritual in the sense of the undead hanging out with me at random times. It's more of a heart-haunt and a mind-haunt. Thoughts and feelings that I thought were gone have suddenly returned and refuse to leave me as it did once before regarding this same situation. It's the very strong remnants of a past relationship - a relationship into which I invested too much, received next to nothing, but cannot seem to shake. I fell in love with someone who misled me into believing that she was actually available - that we could actually have a future. My greatest fears were realized only a few short weeks later when she was able to patch things up with her "ex" (who wasn't really ever her ex, I now understand), and she dropped me without a word.

I have had one conversation with her since then - ONE - 2 months later, and in it she again tried to lead me to believe that months down the line, there could be something for us. My mind knew better. My heart didn't, but at least it didn't become fully invested as it did before.

Now it's been a year since the line between friendship and anything more really began to blur for me, and suddenly she's back in my thoughts, especially my dreams, and in my heart. I'm not "in love" with her again, or anything of that nature. That, while it took months, finally subsided. But I do really and truly miss her. Part of me wonders whether this will get worse in July when it will have been a year from when we actually had a real relationship. What makes more complicated is that we have so many mutual friends that I get accidental updates on her, and her current relationship, often. (If you're curious: She's fine. Their relationship is better than ever. They're moving away together to Xxx, XX this summer for her girlfriend's job.)

My few friends in whom I can really confide about the situation (without fear of further publicizing what ended up being her affair to minimize drama for each of us) are as supportive as they know how to be while being confused as to how I could possible have any amiable feelings toward this individual who treated me so poorly and rendered my heart so completely asunder. I appreciate them, but their support, comments, advice, etc. isn't solving this problem of being haunted by these remnants of my past relationship. I'm at a complete and utter loss as far as how to deal with this.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Best Friends Without Benefits

Posted by Anonymous.

In July, I will be married to my husband for ten years. My husband is a stay-at-home dad while I work full time as a teacher. I used to work 7 days a week because I would wait tables on the weekends as well. We have two children, a 7 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. The girl stays home with her dad all day.

We have a tiring life--doesn't everyone who has two little kids? Teaching takes a lot out of me. I love it, but it does drain me. My husband is dabbling in the movie making business (hopefully moving into that full force once Keira goes to school next year).

About a month ago, my husband told me that he felt like I had emotionally pulled away from him. He felt like I didn't try to connect with him anymore, and that I spent most of my time just trying to sleep. The fact that I would never initiate sex with him made him feel like I didn't want him. (In reality, I was just tired! The kids stayed up later than me most nights, so the sex we did have was at 3:00 in the morning when my husband would wake me up.) He said that he has been depressed, and that he was just realizing the extent of it. He felt like my caretaker rather than my husband.

Sounds like my husband has a case of the housewife blues. I get it. I didn't want to stay home with the kids full time. In a way, I think it would've been better if I would have--I would have gone to play dates and activities and LEFT THE HOUSE during the day. It seems like my husband has lost his sense of self.

Horrible. The next week, I quit my weekend job so that I wouldn't be so exhausted. I started trying to show him that I really do love him and that he is more than just a maid, nanny, and cook (terrible maid, by the way). I tried being more affectionate and emotionally available. (We've always talked all the time, so it wasn't that)

I think I missed my window, though. My husband has lost his attraction for me. He loves me. He is my best friend and I am his. He wants to cuddle and hold hands, but he doesn't feel the warm fuzzies or tingly feelings for me when he sees me. We took a long hard route in finding out this information. He didn't want to admit it to himself or me. It is a horrible feeling.

It feels better than what I had THOUGHT he felt. When he described it to me, I thought he didn't really like me or want to be around me. I thought he had completely fallen out of love with me. I thought he hated me, even though he told me that there was nothing about me that he didn't like. I thought we were through, even though I didn't really do anything bad--the feeling of rejection were mostly in his head. BUT, they were real FEELINGS, so he feels numb toward me.

How are we going to work through this? We are going to continue to be best friends. We can hold each other and cuddle. We won't be having sex, though. We haven't really been having much of that anyway, so in reality nothing much has changed. Is this forever? No way. We are going to do this until he either realizes that I am the hottest woman (for him) around or he realizes that I'm definitely not and we will drift apart. I'm fairly certain it'll be the first one. I'm fairly certain it'll be soon.

It is a weird arrangement, but it'll work. Here's the problem. How do I handle MY self-esteem? How do I handle that my husband has admitted that he thinks I am beautiful and a wonderful person, but he doesn't want to have sex with me? (He is kind of girly in his view of sex--there is no such thing as casual sex. He can't get turned on unless the FEELINGS are there.) How do I not act weird around him? How do I not focus on how the ACTUAL rejection is making me feel?

It is all a mind game. We were only doing it once every month or so anyway. Nothing has changed other than his recognizing his feelings and telling me what they are.

I kind of wonder if everyone goes through this--they don't have the warm fuzzies all the time. It is just really painful for me because my girly husband talks about his feelings and TELLS me about them!

I guess we will both be separately spending some time making ourselves physically feel better for awhile, and then (hopefully) sometime soon we can do it together.

Monday, May 03, 2010

To My Husband

Posted by Anonymous.

To my husband,

There are things I wish I could say to you, that I never have. They get caught in my throat and then just circle in my head. Let me start with I love you, more than you can ever imagine. I can't imagine my life without you. And yet at times like this, I wonder why I am still here.

There are so many things that I can't even begin to talk to you about. You are a bad listener. You are a great reactor. I wish I could duct tape you to a chair to get you to hear me. You are fun to be around, but only think of yourself. You are a good husband, but not the best father. You are ruining our relationship with our daughter. You are driving the wedge in further and further. My son is afraid of you. You lack empathy. I understand your desperation, your fear when it comes to your daughter. I really do. But clearly this isn't working.

I don't know how to fix things anymore. Our family is falling apart around us, and I can't hold it together. And you don't get it. I hate myself for not stepping in when you are mad at her. I hate myself because I know that if it was my son you were yelling at like that, I wouldn't stand for it. And because she is my step-daughter, I don't feel like I have the same authority, and neither do you. I hate that. I hate that this is effecting my son so much. I don't know how to protect him. Sometimes I feel like I should have left to give him a better life. But if I left what would happen to her? I love her like she is my own daughter, and yet she isn't. And within our family that is very clear.

A week ago we agreed to not have anymore children, or even a child together. It hurts, and I know it is the right decision. But this isn't how I imagined my life. How are your values so different from mine when it comes to children?

But I love you. And I read this and it makes you sound like a monster, and you are not. You make us laugh and we're happy most of the time. But today the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. And it is all your fault. You don't get it.